European Union moves to shield European Union firms from USA sanctions against Iran

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"We will do that tomorrow morning at 1030", European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said.

In a clear response to the U.S. move, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has announced that the bloc plans to apply a 1996 law that would prohibit European companies from complying with any sanctions the United States will reintroduce against Tehran, Deutsche Welle reported. The commission also launched "the formal process to remove obstacles for the European Investment Bank (EIB) to decide under the EU budget guarantee to finance activities outside the European Union, in Iran", the executive said.

The French president said that "the European Union chose to preserve the nuclear deal and defend EU companies" adding that "our main interest in Iran is not in trade, but in ensuring stability in the region, at the same time, we will not become an ally of Iran against the USA". "We will have to see whether those remaining in the JCPOA can deliver those benefits to Iran", he said in the Belgian capital on Tuesday. As long as the Iranians respect their commitments, the European Union will of course stick to the agreement of which it was an architect - an agreement that was unanimously ratified by the United Nations Security Council and which is essential for preserving peace in the region and the world.

"As the European Commission we have the duty to protect European companies".

The European Commission will initiate a blocking statute - a regulation which was created in 1996 to get around Washington's trade embargo on Cuba.

The EU decision will allow the European companies to ignore the United States sanctions against Tehran.

Moreover, the Europeans' commitment to the nuclear deal may come with strings attached, including their demands that Iran restrict its missile capabilities as well as its role in the Middle East.

It comes after the US President pulled out of the Iran nuclear accord and gave businesses around the world notice to end their dealings with Tehran.

European Council President Donald Tusk said EU leaders had agreed to give the Commission the green light to act whenever European interests were affected. "The president of the French republic is not the CEO of Total", said French President Emmanuel Macron, commenting on the decision by the French oil firm to withdraw from an Iranian project.

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